Did you know that ICON blockchain programming is being taught at a Vietnamese university?

That’s right. It’s a joint initiative between ICON DAO — one of the main ICON P-Reps who sponsors and collaborates on oh so many projects — and Devera, an IT academy and career training center at Vietnam National University. We spoke with ICON DAO and Park Daesun, Project Manager at Devera, to learn more about their ICON education program.

Devera launched their blockchain technology curriculum in October 2020 through a partnership with ICON DAO. Entitled “Blockchain Programming on ICON Network”, the full-credit course teaches Vietnamese students how to develop Smart Contract (SCORE) and dApps on ICON Network. Since May 2021, the program has been funded through ICON’s Contribution Proposal Fund.

Taught by ICON DAO developers based in Vietnam, some of whom are on the core engineering team contributing to big ICON projects such as BTP and Optimus, each course runs for 10 weeks at 4 hours per week for a total of 40 hours per course. At the end of each course, students work on a class project which, when completed, is deployed to the ICON network for use by the greater public.

Since conception, the program has introduced more than 200 student engineers to ICON through four complete courses. ICON DAO developers also taught at six workshops and were keynote speakers at an Introduction to ICON seminar with over 100 Vietnamese students in attendance. ICON DAO will continue to be as involved as possible in the education of future ICON developers at Devera.

The more established members of ICON DAO had partnerships with Vietnam National University for R&D purposes. These members are directly involved in conducting Devera, especially the ICON related activities,” Daesun explains, regarding the conception of the program. “ICON DAO lobbied for the introduction of ICON blockchain programming courses into the Devera Academy. The program was also largely supported by funding from ICON Foundation (as a grant) and ICON DAO as a sponsor.

Outstanding student opportunities

While students must pay a VND 1,500,000 tuition fee to sign up for the course, the full cost of tuition is refunded by ICON DAO at the end of the program to students who attend at least 80% of the classes. 

The scholarship initiative covers student expenses to maximize participation and reward those who excel, especially among students who otherwise would not be able to afford these extra classes in addition to their university tuition,” a DAO representative tells us.

Exceptional students of the program also have the opportunity to intern as a developer at ICON DAO through the Young ICON Developers Internship Program.

So far, ICON DAO has hired two students who already show promise in IT marketing. We asked Yen Ngoc, a third-year student majoring in Information Systems at VNUHCM – University of Science and Marketing Intern at Devera Academy, about her internship experience:

These 2 months have helped me a lot. For example: discovering many new things about the technological universe and getting to know more talented people from ICON DAO. By looking for some useful and interesting information technology resources to share with Devera’s followers, I found an opportunity to absorb more knowledge beyond what is taught at the university. In addition, the time that I spend in workshops on necessary IT skills not only helps me learn new things, but through it, I can share information with friends close to my age.

Built for ICON — with a focus on interoperability

One of the big sells of this year’s curriculum is a new Mobile Development With Flutter course. Before commencement of the course in June, teachers developed Flutter SDK for the ICON Network, which is now publicly available on Github.

Flutter SDK is a popular development kit created by Google for easy mobile application development. It is increasingly being employed in mobile development programs in schools around the world and adding proficiency in Flutter is a great addition to a mobile developer’s resume.

We utilize the Flutter SDK as a part of our courses for the projects that the students are creating,” ICONDAO tells us. “Additionally, since the SDK is public, we encourage developers to try it out. We predict it will be utilized more widely once it is added to the ICON 2.0 developer portal. We think it is important to integrate ICON with widely-used projects to make the barrier for being an ICON developer lower and to facilitate more tools being available for developers in general.

In addition to the afore-mentioned end-of-course development projects which contribute to the ICON ecosystem in various ways, the program also uses Broof to upload certification of course completion to the ICON blockchain.